Permanent Esc key on 2016 MBP Magic Toolbar?

Appleaker

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Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
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esc_key.png


The positioning of the 'cancel' button on the Magic Toolbar has been strange, but it could suggest a fixed escape key.

By this, I mean one that is a software key although present throughout all functions, such as Apple Pay.

The above is the most likely option, however it would be interesting if Apple implemented 2 physical keys/buttons either side of the Magic Toolbar (right for escape, and left for power/TouchID). There is a very subtle difference in shading between the cancel button and the black area, so maybe this is the case?
 

hawkeye_a

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Jun 27, 2016
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I'm not a fan of the missing escape key or even a software escape key. What happens if the software glitches/locks up? No escape until you restart? Oh wait.... there's no physical power button either.... i guess you will have to remove the power chord and battery...oh wait.... ugh

Im stoked for every other update.... smaller bezel and footprint, new keyboard, new display, new guts, new ports.... but that missing escape and power keys seem to unnecessarily make users dependent on the reliability of software(which manages the toolbar)....all for what? visual symmetry?
 

Appleaker

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Jun 13, 2016
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I'm not a fan of the missing escape key or even a software escape key. What happens if the software glitches/locks up? No escape until you restart? Oh wait.... there's no physical power button either.... i guess you will have to remove the power chord and battery...oh wait.... ugh

Im stoked for every other update.... smaller bezel and footprint, new keyboard, new display, new guts, new ports.... but that missing escape and power keys seem to unnecessarily make users dependent on the reliability of software(which manages the toolbar)....all for what? visual symmetry?
I agree with you, although there is an option to assign the escape key to another key. However that removed the function of the other key...

Thankfully the power button is physical or if you're right then it could be pressure sensitive but I do think it needs to be a physical button anyway.
 

hawkeye_a

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Jun 27, 2016
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As far as the 'computer-human-interfce'.... whats the point of this toolbar? What could it "do" that couldn't be achieved with current keyboard function keys?

TouchID is great...IMHO they should have put it onto the existing power button. If they wanted to customize keyboards they should have opted for an entire eInk type keyboard, where the function keys change as well. (But not things like the Escape/Tab/caps/Shift/Return keys, etc)

This "Magic Toolbar" is a complication, an obstacle, dare I say, a gimmick to using the machine. IMHO
 

Appleaker

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Jun 13, 2016
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Future handoff feature.

Power off your machine from your device?
That seems to make sense for desktops, as it would be part of the Home app.
[doublepost=1477519627][/doublepost]
As far as the 'computer-human-interfce'.... whats the point of this toolbar? What could it "do" that couldn't be achieved with current keyboard function keys?

TouchID is great...IMHO they should have put it onto the existing power button. If they wanted to customize keyboards they should have opted for an entire eInk type keyboard, where the function keys change as well. (But not things like the Escape/Tab/caps/Shift/Return keys, etc)

This "Magic Toolbar" is a complication, an obstacle, dare I say, a gimmick to using the machine. IMHO
Yeah it'll be a gimmick and that's all review will talk about. It does provide extra functionality but at a trade-off to many Pro users. An e-ink display would have been an option that everybody would be happy with and it could be applied to the whole keyboard.
 

MVMNT

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2010
155
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What else has been magic so far in Apple's inventory.

Mouse. Trackpad.

How have they fared?
 

Goatllama

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2015
617
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Mountaintop Lair
What else has been magic so far in Apple's inventory.

Mouse. Trackpad.

How have they fared?
They've fared pretty well, haven't they.......?

In any case, physical buttons (or alternative methods) for both of these somewhat vital keys are a must. We'll see pretty soon what solution has been applied.
 

kiancheong

macrumors member
May 18, 2011
62
53
The positioning of the 'cancel' button on the Magic Toolbar has been strange, but it could suggest a fixed escape key.
Why display Cancel on the OLED bar if there's already an Escape key next to it? That'll just lead to #DoublEscGate.
 

Appleaker

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Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
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Where did you find this pic? If it is real, it looks dangerous if you try to close the lid on it!
Don't worry, it's just a render by Martin Hajek - The same person who did the widely used MacBook Pro renders.
But you bring up a good point - If (or I should say when) that accessory is made, it would have to be put in every time you want to use it, and taken out when you're done, and put in your adapter bag (if it can fit).
 

hawkeye_a

macrumors 68000
Jun 27, 2016
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Can we wait another 10 hours before complaining? I'm sure they though of the escape key ;)
No! Those 10 hours are precious for me to complain!!!! ;)

Apple may as well have an "out" for this issue, or they might as well have good reason to do it. But IMHO...changing such a fundamental usage pattern that has been around for almost as long as keyboards have is frustrating. It would be akin to them finding a different layout for the keys on the keyboard.... they could have all the research to support the change, all the good intentions, etc... but would it warrant such a disruption for users? "Just because they can do something, doesn't mean that they should".

I suspect such "features" are the product of the "yes men" culture of the post-Steve Apple.

I am eager to see how the thing works. but so far i see it as a gimmick, an unnecessary complication and expense on the product (like 3D touch on the iPhone). If they need to "highlight" touchID when its waiting for a fingerprint to read, they could have had a pulsating light on the powerbutton with TouchID, they dont need an additional screen to get a user's attention, which removes existing functionality(keys) IMHO.

Worst case for users, is they buy an external USB keyboard(and additional dock to USB-C) to try and ignore that bar. I was fine with them getting rid of the floppy, the CD/DVD drive, etc...but the escape key and power button might be too far IMHO.... we'll see. /end rant
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
11,009
5,511
I am eager to see how the thing works
I think the escape key will be there as usually, but apps might be flexible to override it with something else they need. For instance, TextMate uses escape for auto-completion. It would be neat if it could spell that out (maybe even with a hint for what it could autocomplete it to) in the bar instead.

but so far i see it as a gimmick
Of course its a gimmick :p But so is HiDPI display, wide gamut screen, ergonomic keyboards etc etc. These things are not really nessessary and we can do without them. But these gimmicks can also make our lives easier and nicer. It remains to be seen whether this will also be true for the touchbar. I can potentially see some neat applications for it.

like 3D touch on the iPhone
3D touch is amazing! It adds an entire dimension to the user interaction. I find it very useful.
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
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"The Escape key is ancient, it needs to die, so we courageously removed it."

That kind of thinking?
"But if you're stuck in the past and would like a physical escape key, we offer a great external escape key for just $29"
 

mctrials23

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2013
496
473
I'm amazed that some of the people in this thread haven't thrown themselves off a bridge when they run out of milk. What if my local shop doesn't have the one I like!

If apple ever remove the home button from the iphone there will be people genuinely panicking about how they will exit apps. I'll let you in on a secret.... Apple know we need a power button and esc button. They also know that we need a way to hard reset the laptop if it freezes up.
 
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